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VAT returns? Can I do them myself?

(21 Posts)
Swifey Thu 28-Jan-16 13:07:32

Hi there, I own a ltd company, but am the only employee. I am currently haemorrhaging £130 a month for accountants fees, to do my payroll (just me), and my VAT returns. I do all the calculations, they just submit them, they also do my end of year returns. Is it possible for me to use something like 'QuickBooks' and do it myself? Do I still need an accountants to do the end of year? And if yes, how much does that usually cost? Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
zombiesarecoming Thu 28-Jan-16 13:16:25

Yes you can do them yourself, especially for that money

Where abouts in the country are you ?

You will find accountancy fees vary massively depending upon your location, probably why my wife has clients dotted around the country that mostly do things by post as up here accountancy fees are a lot lower than the same job from a southern based firm

If you are preparing everything yourself and they are only submitting the figures then save yourself the money and do it yourself

Swifey Thu 28-Jan-16 13:34:08

Thanks very much, yes, I am in the south! The accountants ballsed up the VAT figures last year too, their end, my accounts were correct, and I now have to pay an extra £800!! So I'm not very happy anyway!

OP’s posts: |
SmilingandWaving Thu 28-Jan-16 13:57:59

Have you thought about using a bookkeeper rather than an accountant?

We charge from £14 an hour and usually do VAT returns quarterly rather than monthly basis. There would have to be an awful lot of paper work involved for us to charge £360 a quarter!

Have a look for a local bookkeeper if you decide you don't want to do it yourself as they can usually do payroll & will be a lot cheaper than an accountant.

SmilingandWaving Thu 28-Jan-16 14:00:18

£390 rather! Sorry using the app so couldn't see your post.

Swifey Thu 28-Jan-16 14:36:43

A bookkeeper would be fine too, but who can do the end of year return? Am I allowed to do that myself?

OP’s posts: |
GreenShadow Thu 28-Jan-16 14:38:27

VAT is dead easy on QuickBooks - at least it is with the on-line version. We had the Desktop version initially and we had to fiddle around abit to get the final report but with on-line you just plug the dates into the Report VAT option and away you go.

AveEldon Thu 28-Jan-16 14:39:59

Yes you can do it yourself
SAGE or QuickBooks will make it easier

SmilingandWaving Thu 28-Jan-16 15:05:48

You can do the end of year and the VAT returns yourself.

There are lots of cloud based options available now.

A bookkeeper would probably charge around £500 for the end of year, depending on where they're based.

It really depends on how long it takes you to do it yourself as to whether or not it's worth getting a bookkeeper.

Sadik Thu 28-Jan-16 15:16:59

Yes, you definitely can. Doing your own payroll is trival, too - I do ours using SageOne, which costs £10/month (it's £5/month for up to 5 employees). There's a free HMRC version but Sage is so easy, I think it's worth it.
And yes, you can do your end of year return yourself. We don't use an accountant/bookkeeper at all for routine stuff (sometimes pay for advice on specific issues, mostly tax).
I think the big advantage to doing your own books if you have the time is that you're really properly in touch with the finances.

girlandboy Thu 28-Jan-16 15:28:11

My DH and I have an accountant for everything, but I do the VAT returns.

And I don't have a fancy programme to do it, I just do it from an Excel spreadsheet.

And the actual filling in on the Gov. website is dead easy. There are only 9 boxes to fill in (and I think 2 or 3 of them get filled in automatically) so if you're already working out your figures anyway, you should find it a doddle. I'm not good with accounts generally, but if I can do it then I'm sure you can if you're already working it out anyway.

DG2016 Thu 28-Jan-16 19:47:58

For 25 years I have done my own VAT, book keeping, tax return. Anyone with half a brain can for a small business unless they are very uninterested in it or can't add up. Go for it.

I don't use any software programme at all for any of it by the way. but I don't have any employees (sole trader) and I think real time payroll stuff these days HMRC may require you to have some kind of programme (perhaps although plenty of people don't even have computers or internet connetion so perhaps I'm wrong about even that)

SwearyInn Thu 28-Jan-16 19:50:50

I highly recommend Xero (I don't work for them - promise). I do my VAT returns literally at the touch of a button (Xero connects directly to HMRC gateway). And accounts v v easy. They do have a payroll function too but overall never used it so have no idea if it's good.

TalkinPeace Thu 28-Jan-16 21:04:55

VT does accounts - and its REALLY cheap and really good

AuditAngel Thu 28-Jan-16 21:13:00

VAT returns are not too hard, but if you gave a limited company, your year end accounts have to comply with both the Companies Act 2006 and UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Depending on the turnover and assets of the company you may qualify as a micro entity which changes the accounting requirements.

Are you the only shareholder?

PermaShattered Wed 03-Feb-16 14:41:31

This is a sore point for me! I'm facing a VAT bill because of my own incompetence and i'm handing it all over to my accountant (he'll only charge around £60 a quarter) from now on :/ I've been doing it myself (flat rate scheme/pay quarterly) but, quite simply, i can't add up.

HMRC have picked up on errors so i'm having to provide tons of info and once they've calculated what I owe i shall pay up then leave to the accountant from henceforth.... What HAS NOT helped is that over the last 3 yrs or so I occasionally had a letter from HMRC telling me they are giving me a refund as my VAT is in credit - with no explanation.

'Anyone with half a brain can for a small business unless they are very uninterested in it or can't add up'. I can't add up. Also there's the time - I struggle to meet all my deadlines and I have no time for admin.

PermaShattered Wed 03-Feb-16 14:43:05

I turned over 6 figures last year so mine's not a tiny business. That does excuse me a little?! smile

Cococo1 Fri 12-Feb-16 19:12:52

I pay my accountant about 2.5k a year to do Vat, end of year,

Cococo1 Fri 12-Feb-16 19:15:34

Hit the post button by mistake. I pay my accountant about 2.5 k a year for vat, end of year, personal tax returns and pay roll (just for me and DH). Seems loads and it used to be about half that. I think the legislation has got really complicated.

Just wondering what others pay (we have Ltd company)

Stickerrocks Fri 12-Feb-16 22:09:40

Chartered accountant here based in the south. I charge one man band companies £650 for company accounts & corporation tax, but these are straight forward consultancy based businesses with very few transactions. I don't have to rummage through lots of invoices and receipts to do these. I do VAT returns for a construction business for £100 a quarter, but it's another straight forward job. Payroll is typically £5 per payslip.

I wouldn't recommend you tackle year end company accounts and corporation tax returns by yourself. The UK financial reporting framework is undergoing some fundamental changes at the moment and you need to know what you're doing. Chartered accountants don't spend 3 years training for nothing you know!

PermaShattered Sun 21-Feb-16 22:00:36

Sticker I pay my accountant about £1400 for company account/corp tax and £60 a quarter (I think) for payroll. Is that a bit steep?

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